Pack spikers show progress in loss to Bears

Published 2:28 am Friday, October 3, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Playing in its final home game of the season, the Washington volleyball team failed to snap its 16-game losing streak as it fell to New Bern 25-23, 25-11, 25-23 on Thursday.
The Pam Pack showed progress in its loss, as it managed to take leads during second and third games, but could not hold on to them.
Thursday’s game would have been the final one in front of the home crowd for senior Sierra Weatherington, except she could not play because of a knee injury.
Washington coach Tara Hunter said that while her squad is still winless, she is happy with the advances it has made during the season.
The Pam Pack has two more chances to pick up a win before its regular season ends, and Hunter was encouraged by her team’s effort against the Coastal Conference rival Bears (8-6).
Early on in game one, there wasn’t much to get excited about as New Bern ripped off a 10-3 run to start the match.
The Bears benefited from solid serving by Annie Dibble and Chelsea Ellsworth.
Washington managed to pick up a few points and cut New Bern’s lead to 15-10, but was then out-scored 10-3 to end the game.
The Pam Pack got off to a better start in the second game, and after Blaklee Wolfe rattled off five straight service points the Pack held a 6-4 lead. Wolfe belted two aces during the run.
The bears bounced back quickly, and put together a run of their own. New Bern played a solid team game, and passed the ball well to each other.
The group effort would carry them on a 15-3 run, which ended with the Bears holding an 18-9 advantage.
Dibble sealed the deal for New Bern as she served five straight points en route to a 25-11 win.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Pam Pack showed heart in the third match and nearly pulled out a victory.
Strong play by Wolfe, Sarah Johnson, Alex Everette, Sarah Nicholls and Lillyann Arnold helped guide the team to a 23-point effort. However, the Pack was still two shy of victory as it fell 25-23.
At one point Washington held a 15-11 lead over the Bears, its largest of the afternoon.
The Bears slowly chipped away, and tied the game at 20 after going on a 9-5 run.
Five points away from a set victory, the Pack could not close out, as New Bern out-scored it 5-3 down the stretch.
Hunter said that while the team’s record may not reflect it, her team has been playing much better.
The Pam Pack will get another chance to remove the zero from the win column on Tuesday when it travels to Havelock.